Photos by MJ Klein & Hui-chen Meals featured: Grilled homestyle hamburgers; teppanyaki.
UPDATE: November 2, 2007: Here is a photo of the bread type that I talk about in this article. Notice that there are seven slices:
The other evening I told Hui-chen that I felt like eating hamburgers for dinner. Funny, but she rarely asks me if I want to eat hamburgers, which is strange considering that a full-blown Taiwanese stereotype about Americans is that we only eat hamburgers. I’ve been to places with new Taiwanese friends who in all honesty, apologized to me because there were no hamburgers available on the menu where we were eating! Other times I have had Taiwanese friends celebrate my return to Taiwan by going to McDonald’s and bringing back bags of their inedible garbage, thinking that I would be pleased with their selection of American food (I pretended to be). I didn’t eat that crap in the US, so why would I eat it here?
Forget about McDonald’s! On this occasion, I decided to show Hui-chen how we would make hamburgers at home when I lived in New Hampshire. Hui-chen went to the store and procured some ingredients (while I got the grill going) and then I combined them in a bowl as shown here:
- 1/3 ground beef
- 2/3 ground pork
- Chopped garlic (a ton)
- 1/2 onion, diced
- Black pepper to taste
- Soy sauce
The only thing left to do now is to grill them.
That gave me confidence to try something even more ambitious:
Here is what happened: Directly over the word “here” at the beginning of this sentence is part of my house reflecting the full power of the flash back. Naturally, that part is totally washed out. Next is the house across the street on the left side. Then further out you can see that the light from the flash illuminated the windows on the buildings on the next block! Notice the car reflectors too. Even though the distant portion of the shot is not usable, I’m officially impressed!
So, I wonder if I could take any useful photos at night in near-total darkness from the 4th floor balcony? I did some street level zoomed shots using the Sigma lens:
This shot is pretty convincing evidence that I could successfully photograph something on the street at night using my flash. The exif data is available for all these photos by clicking on them and selecting the link from the flickr photo page.
So now that I’m done playing around, let’s get back to the burger business!
One thing that I need to explain about Taiwan is about our weird sliced bread. Not only do you have to ask for “toast” and you will actually see “sliced toast” on the bread packaging (no one told Taiwanese that the bread must be toasted in order for it to be called “toast”) but the size is weird too. It’s like an A3 sized piece or something. Take a look and you’ll see what I mean:[eminimall]
This is one of my American sized burgers on the bread. See how much bigger the bread is? It’s like the bread grew in the middle. As far as I can tell, not many people use sliced bread to make sandwiches here, which explains both the size and the name “toast.” The bread is so large that a single PB&J usually wipes out my appetite. When I ate this hamburger, it took about 5 minutes to get down to the meat!
Hui-chen explained to me that her hamburger was superior because:
Given the small size of the meat patty and the large size of the bread, she could make a sandwich out of a single piece of bread! Suddenly, I realized why these bread packages have odd numbers of slices. It’s so weird to by 7 slices of bread but they are not used in pairs, apparently.
So the next day Hui-chen took the leftover meat and used it in her homestyle teppanyaki:
Here is a closeup. We have the meatballs made from the hamburger concoction on the bottom of the photo, then counter-clockwise from that, we see the white chicken meat, followed by pork (touched by the tongs).